Best Retractable Baby Gates of 2018 – Reviews of 10 Great Options and Top Picks: As we always highlight in our reviews for baby products, the most important thing when making any decision about your little one is its safety. We believe you have many costs you haven’t planned in order to buy everything your little one needs, but if you have a small budget you should make priorities and retractable baby gate is definitely one of them. There is a fact that this type of gates has a high price but nothing is expensive enough in comparison to your child’s safety.
There is a mountain of retractable baby gate brands and variations and the question is from where to begin and what should be the criteria for choosing a retractable baby gate. This product became very popular in the last time and many parents that follow us asked us to make review about it. We are here to be your assistant during baby years and in this article you will find everything you should know about retractable baby gates and the reviews for the best retractable baby gates in 2018.
- FAQ – Retractable Baby Gates
- Reviews of Top 10 Best Retractable Baby Gates in 2018
- #1 North States Supergate Extra-Wide Gate
- #2 Lascal KiddyGuard Avant Retractable Baby Safety Gate, Black Mesh
- #3 Retract-A-Gate safety gate 52″ wide
- #4 Lascal KiddyGuard Avant Retractable Baby Safety Gate, White Mesh
- #5 Regalo Easy Step Walk Thru Gate, White
- #6 Summer Infant Retractable Gate
- #7 Evenflo Expansion Swing Wide Gate
- #8 Dreambaby Retractable Gate, Black
- #9 Dreambaby Retractable Gate – L820
- #10 Bindaboo B1136/L821 Retractable Gate in White
- Things to consider before choosing a baby gate.
- Tips for shopping
- 2018’s Reviews of The Retractable baby gates
FAQ – Retractable Baby Gates
We will start the main part of our article with FAQ as a good introduction to further parts of this article
Why should I buy a baby gate?
When your little one starts crawling around the house and exploring the new environment you will be faced with a lot of headache. In that age kids are now aware of dangers that can arise and want to see and try everything that looks interesting. Considering that, there is a great possibility that they come up some dangerous items in the house and hurt themselves or fall down the stairs.
On the other side, you won’t be able to keep your kid always on eye and go after it. There will always happen a few moments when you turn your head, answer the phone, open a door or pay attention to your other children.
The day is even good, but what about the night. It can happen that your little one gets out of bed and come to danger wandering the house.
And what about the kitchen where most of you keep dangerous items like knives, blenders, posts of boiling water, etc.? This definitely isn’t a child friendly zone. On the other hand, there are some place that aren’t so dangerous, but you keep there some important things, like documentation, expensive equipment where little explorer can make damage.
Buying a baby gate doesn’t mean you are completely released of watching it carefully, since taking all important actions to keep your kid safe.
How much costs a common baby gate?
This depends on the space width, baby’s height and style type need. Common gate costs between £10 and £15. For the case you want something quality and more stylish, you will have to pay around £100.
When to buy a stair gate?
We partially answered to this question. It is necessary to buy a stair gate when your baby starts exploring the world around it. We recommend you to buy some as soon as your baby starts showing first signs of crawling because it will soon start moving faster than you can even think.
Types of baby gates
Baby gates can be found in various types and brands. They can be made of metal, wood or fabric mesh and you can set them up buy screwing them into the wall or using pressure fit. Those baby gates consisted of wood or metal that have side opening will require a bigger part of the room to swing open into, so you will have to consider in advance if this will cause any obstruction or to be awkward to navigate around.
Our retractable stair can be a good solution to protect home areas that have restricted space or when you want that gate disappears when you don’t use it.
When it comes to stair gates, make sure that they can be opened always towards you and not towards the flight of stairs. In that way you will protect yourself from falling forwards when you open a gate. We recommend you to always use screw-fit gates at the top of the stairs.
You should also pay attention to a way in which the locking mechanism works and if it is easy to use. It should be difficult enough for your toddler to find out how it works to unlock it but also easy for you to use. You can also find on the market some stair gates that automatically close.
Basically, there are two main types of baby gates: hardware mounted and pressure mounted gates.
Hardware mounted baby gates
As its name says this type of baby gates screws directly into the door, wall frame or banister. This type should be screwed directly into door frame or banister, door or wall. Most parents usually ask if this will make holes when you remove it after your kid grow up. Unfortunately, the answer is yes.
On the other hand, this baby gate type is good because it is supported by house and stands for the most secure type. It is able to stop even the most adventurous toddlers and pets to knock it down. This type of baby gates is recommended for parts of the house where falling of baby gate can result in serious injury such as wood stove or fireplace.
We want to warn you to check the instructions for setting it up carefully without doing anything more. Contrary, it can result in damaging your walls.
Pressure mounted baby gates
As same as tension shower curtain rod, this baby gate is also held by pressure.
This is the most popular type of baby gates. The reason for this is because they are easy to use and install. You will be able to move them fast and easily from one location to another if it is necessary.
Some parents complain that pressure mounted gate falls often. That happens because of the bad installation of the gate. For that reason is very important to follow the installation instructions in order to make your baby gate work effectively.
Retractable Baby Gates
Finally we came to retractable baby gates. Actually retractable baby gates can be hardware mounted or pressure mounted.
As you will see in our reviews, they can be made of different materials: plastic, wood, metal, etc. They also come in variety of different designs but what is common for all of them is that they retract their selves so they don’t open, shut or swing.
The issue that can arise with this baby gate is that little fingers or body parts of little babies can be caught in the gate when it is retracting. For the case you want to use this model for securing stairs, make sure to put it to both the top and bottom because you can never know where you will be with your little one.
Features to consider when choosing
The safety of the gate depends on reliable hardware, absence of entrapment hazards and solid construction. Here you can find the most important features that you should consider when choosing a retractable baby gate.
Height should be definitely on the first place when considering the features of retractable baby gate because the main purpose of it is to discourage your kid to climb over it. The gate has to be at least 22 inches high. For the case your little explorer is tall for its age, choose the higher one.
2. Strong construction
Strong construction is very important aspect when choosing a baby gate. For example, wooden surface should be smooth, splinter-free and with rounded edges. On the other hand, metal is more durable than wood.
There are also some gates with support bar crossing the floor beneath the gate so it can cause tripping when the gate is opened.
We also recommend you to always check if the product has the label from the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association that is guarantee that the product meets safety standards. You should also try to find the permanent label with the name and address of the seller, distributor or manufacturer in order to have some contact if you have some issues with the product. The clear warning statement label should also be somewhere on the package.
3. Flexible installation
You can find on the market many baby gates that can be mounted to odd areas like stair balusters, angled banisters and drywall with no wood framing behind. You will need to buy an installation kit for this type of areas. There is also a kit for the bottom of the stairs that fastens a pressure mounted gate to a baluster.
There are also some gates that can be adjusted to fit irregularly shaped or wide areas. There is also an option to slide some hardware mounted baby gates out of the wall mountings that could be convenient when you have entertainment time and don’t want the gate in the way.
4. Slat Spacing
Safety gate slats are bars or vertical slats that are less than 3” apart with a purpose to prevent a head entrapment. On the other hand, that could be enough space for your little one to get foothold on the horizontal bottom rail of the gate when trying to climb over the gate. This can cause an injury and damage a baby gate.
Majority of gates contain a dual action latch so you will have to push down on it in order to release it. You can do this with one hand. We recommend you to try different types of latches in shop so you could be sure they are easy enough for you, but not for your baby, of course.
Baby gate that contains squeezing mechanism can be opened by compressing parts of the gate, but it can be also difficult to use so always try it in the shop. One more option is a pressure release handle which you can lift with one hand and open a gate. There are some baby gate models with foot pedal that releases the latch.
6. Latch Indicators
Some gates have the option to give you a signal when they are latched. Other models contain a color indicator that shows when the gate is latched and some also have a sounding alarm if the gate is opened.
Regardless of these useful features, we always recommend you to check manually if the gate is latched. These options are very nice and practical but nothing can be replaced with your eyes and hands.
After the tests we made and interviews with some parents, we made the list of 10 best retractable baby gates in 2018 with detailed descriptions and their positive and negative sides.
Reviews of Top 10 Best Retractable Baby Gates in 2018
As we said in the previous text: safety is above everything. We can say this gate is really safe and secure. It can be either fully opened all the way or locked and closed. The gate has the ability to swing close for the case you don’t keep it open all the way. In order to unlock it you need to hold the switch placed on knob and then lift the baby gate up. If you want to lock the switch at its place all you have to do is twist the knob at its sides.
Another good thing about this gate is that it is easy to install. All you have to do is employ the two rods, one on each gate side and insert the extensions if it is necessary. Then just attach the four tension rods and tighten them to the opening. Pretty simple, right?
For the case you aren’t satisfied with wall cups, there is a double-sided tape you can install.
The quality metal coated with white powder provides durability and is also recommended by American Pet Association and certified by Juvenile Product Manufacturer’s Association.
Lascal KiddyGuard is stable, stylish and easy to use retractable baby gate and it is highly rated on Amazon.
When it comes to style, this baby gate has neutral and subtle colors that can fit good with almost any environment so it will easily disappear when you don’t need it.
The safety is definitely above all the features. It is made of quality materials and the trip hazard is almost impossible. That is possible thanks to mesh that can make your home safe for a child, but in the same time not let it hurt if it tries to run through the gate.
Good thing about this gate is that it is easy to install because you can use it with or without baseboards and is practical for the top of the stairs as that part of the house requires a tough protection. It is designed for spaces up to 48 inches wide that is standard door frame width.
This baby’s guard system is designed for one-handed use and also contains a silent timing system with light indicators. The system shows a red light when the gate is unlocked and is especially convenient when your little one is sleeping because you will be able to enter and exit its room with no sounds that could wake it up.
It is practical for both the babies and pets, but if you have a cat you should know that there is possibility that it wiggles underneath.
We have here one of the most famous retractable baby gates.
It comes in standard size of 52”, but can be also found as extra-wide of 72”. Thanks to that, you will be able to cover the widest parts of your home. So if you have such kind of place that has to be protected, maybe you should consider this model.
When it comes to safety, it is one of the few baby gates that are JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) Certified for protecting the top and bottom of stairs.
Thanks to childproof locking mechanism you will be able to prevent your little explorer from unlocking it.
The same as previous model, this one also has one hand operation system, so it is very practical for those parents who often carry their children from one to another room.
This can also be a good protection for pets because it is tall enough to disable a cat or dog to jump over and strong in the same time. This feature is approved with manufacturer’s test for pressure over 200lbs of force. Strong materials contained in it are providing this feature.
On the other hand, it’s not good solution for small dogs and cats because they can crawl under it.
The thing you have to pay attention to is that if it isn’t fastened in a right way there is possibility that your kid crawls underneath.
This model is considered as a good alternative to cumbersome traditional gates.
Thanks to stylish Swedish design it will fit almost any design. It is able to be fully retracted and it is out of the way so there is no danger for babe to be tripped. The same as previous model, this gate can resist the pressure of 220lbs and it can be also opened easily with one hand. In the same time it is complicated enough to stop a baby to open a gate.
It is flexible and it can be applied to almost any opening and can be set at any angle.
The gate also has an indicator that lets you know when the gate is locked.
The bad side of this model is that installation takes some time and it can’t be dropped in place just like that.
In comparison to price, we can say it has a good feature enough to be considered.
Regalo gate has a durable steel construction. It is able to protect a baby or pets from falling off the stairs or to access out-of-reach parts of the house. This model is lightweight and portable.
Thanks to six-inch extension included you will be allowed to increase the installation width from 34 inches to 40 inches.
In comparison to gates that force you to destroy wall finishes or punch holes through door frames, this gate will be easy to install thanks to pressure mounting.
One more, convenient feature of this product is that it has a lever style handle. It can be easily opened and work with one touch release technicality. Besides being an effective obstacle for your little one, it will be also easy access for adults.
In comparison to other safety designs, this model doesn’t have the option to be opened on both sides.
When it comes to safety, it is Juvenile Products Manufactures Association certified.
This retractable baby gate is stylish, sleek and easy to use. In comparison to traditional gates this one leaves an open place with no need to be dismantled completely or remain locked and closed in order not to hit someone’s legs while swinging. The gate comes with secured mounted hardware that is especially important if you are planning to secure the top of the stairs.
In comparison to its features and other models on this list it might be little expensive.
On the other hand, in order to set it up, you will need to have a kit to fix it to bannister so you won’t be able to use it on bannister. Also, you will need wood or drywall to mount it, so it isn’t convenient for stairs protection.
This is extra wide gate that fits openings from 24” to 60” and in the same time has the ability to retract when it is closed. It comes with four point hardware and is easy to install.
Like a few previous models it has on hand locking system. Thanks to ability to swing the gate in either direction it is convenient for high traffic areas and provides quick and easy pass through. In the same time, the plastic telescopic safety rail will keep your little one’s fingers from pinching.
Openings at the top of the child safety gate will be disabled thanks to exclusive telescopic plastic safety rail.
This is pretty popular model on Amazon and it is approved by awards from Parent Tested, Parent Approved and Parent Media associations, so you can be sure that it meets all the highest safety standards.
It includes all important hardware necessary for installation in two different spots in the house. You can move it around easily like for living room during the day and bedroom on night. You will be able to do this very easy by clipping it into the brackets at the second location.
It comes with the instructions to set it up, but they aren’t totally clear.
The multifunctional option can save your money and make your life easier keeping your little one safe. You can use it indoors as well as outdoors. When it comes to outdoor use, one more, good thing is that the gate is made from UV treated mesh so there is no possibility that sharp color fades in the sun.
It fits the spaces up to 50” wide and is applicable to almost any door frame. Thanks to one hand locking system, the gate is really easy to use.
Even if it is lightweight and easy to put up, we can’t forget the fact that it is hardware mount gate so it has to be mounted to wall and isn’t applicable to underside of a bannister or cabinet.
Dreambaby L820 is considered as one of the most versatile baby gates on the market. It can fit the spaces up to 55”. Actually, when we measurement we came to conclusion that it actually can fit places up to 53”. The same other parents also complained for this wrong information.
The gate is consisted of durable, solid mash that isn’t dangerous for your children.
It also has a single handed opening system that is very practical for situations when you are carrying your little one or something in your hand. Practice is little different so you will need little practice before you manage to do it easily.
Thanks to plastic instruction you will be able to install it at passageways, top and bottom of the stairs, doorways and outdoors. As same as previous model, it also comes with 2 sets of hardware mounts so it can be used at 2 different locations. You can use its mounting brackets on inner or outer sections of entrances and openings and are also convenient to be set up at angles.
There can be also found Dreambaby Retractable Spacers in addition to this gate that will make the gate parallel with the wall.
For the case you don’t manage to install the gate correctly, it is possible that some space will be left at the bottom and your little crawler will be able to crawl through that space very easily.
As same as previous model, this is also multipurpose gate that can be used indoors and outdoors. It also comes with two sets of mounting brackets that allow you to install the gate easily on different locations. So, if you need to put the gate on some other place, all you have to do is unclip one set of brackets.
Besides securing specific rooms in your house, you can also use it on the top and bottom of stairway, hallways and doorways.
This model is consisted of UV treated materials making it good solution to outdoor use, so the sun won’t affect the color of the gate. The gate also saves your space and there is no danger of tripping hazards.
As same as previous model, the gate has one hand locking system, but in practice is difficult to do open and close it with one hand. It is also not good solution to small pets because they can easily crawl under it.
Things to consider before choosing a baby gate.
Before you make final decision about the baby gate we recommend you to consider two important things.
1. Measure the distance that baby gate needs to cover
This step should be done before anything. You have to be as accurate as possible because there will be nothing you can do when you buy a gate and find out when you come home that it doesn’t fit the space where you want to set it up.
2. Be sure how your baby tall is
When you finish with measuring your home, find a time to measure your little one, too. Perfect height of baby gate for your baby should be at least three quarters of its own height. You can be sure that even the most adventurous little explorer won’t be able to pull itself over the gate.
You should also know that baby gate won’t be of great help when your baby becomes 36” or 30 pounds heavier. These height and weight are characteristic for two year old kids. For the case your kid is large for that age, there is no reason to worry. You can always buy an extra tall baby gates.
Tips for shopping
1. Check the gate construction
You should always consider some sturdy construction that is JPMA certified in the same time.
2. Be clear with yourself where you are planning to use it
In comparison to pressure mounted, hardware mounted gates are harder to dislodge. For that reason, hardware mounted gates are suitable for areas where a danger of falling is, like stairways. If you need a gate for less dangerous parts of your home, you can use pressure mounted gate.
3. Don’t forget to bring the door dimensions with you to the shop
We also recommend you to avoid baby gates that have to be at maximum width to fit, as they aren’t able to provide enough security for your little one.
4. Check the slats’ size
The slats of safety gate have to be less than 3” apart in order to prevent head entrapment or to prevent hands or feet to slip through.
5. Try the gate before you buy it
The best thing you can do is to test the models in store and finally, when you make a choice don’t forget to show your baby sitter or someone who keeps your baby how the gate should be used. You should also warn them not to climb over the gate since to open it. It will be maybe funny, but people love to do it.
2018’s Reviews of The Retractable baby gates
One main word for the end: safety! Retractable baby gates are one of the more expensive baby items but as we said at the beginning, nothing is worth more than preventing your baby to get hurt. Don’t forget to do two things before you go for shopping: to measure the width of the space where you are planning to put a gate and to measure the height of your kid.
Considering the most important features that retractable gate should have, the winner from our Top 10 Retractable Baby Gates in 2018 is North States Supergate Extra-Wide Gate. It is safe, strong and durable retractable baby gate easy to assemble. It can fit almost any space thanks to two extensions for increasing the width and has triple locking system integrated.
Disadvantages of this product like little noise and missing one hand system can be neglected in comparison to benefits you get.